GEM Retirement Living – COVID-19 Response

March 1, 2021

We have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia over the past week. In response to this change, we are increasing the measures we have in place at Melville Heights, our location in Halifax.

These changes will be effective immediately. We will re-evaluate the situation once the active cases in our province have decreased and communicate our next steps to residents and family members.

The following measures will be in place, effective immediately:

  • All visits on the facility’s grounds are temporarily suspended.
  • Essential medical and dental appointments will continue. Residents returning to the facility will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room.
  • All non-essential travel into the community, whether with family or independently, is temporarily suspended.
  • In-person tours are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available
  • The on-site hair salon will remain open (by appointment only)
  • Recreation activities will continue while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health
  • All off-site trips provided by the facility where residents are required to leave the transporting vehicle are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents are encouraged to wear their mask, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene
  • Non-essential services will continue on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • All external entertainers are temporarily suspended.
  • The following services will continue: blood collection, foot care, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided).

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

January 11, 2021

With the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province remaining low, we are resuming off-site visits at Melville Heights and Yarmouth Heights without a requirement to self-isolate beginning on Monday January 11. 

Residents may go out into the community to visit with family and friends and are not required to self-isolate upon returning. Residents will be screened and will wear a mask in all common areas of the building upon their return.

Please remember to follow all Public Health recommendations, such as mask wearing, hand hygiene, gathering limits, and physical distancing whenever possible, while out in the community.

We will continue to evaluate the situation and communicate our next steps to family members as needed.

As of January 11, the following measures will be in place:

  • In-suite visits will resume. Residents may have up to two visitors visit at a time.
  • Travel into the community, whether with family or independently, will resume.
  • Essential medical and dental appointments will continue. Residents returning to the facility will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room.
  • In-person tours will resume. Tours will be limited to two people at a time, who will be screened and must wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of six feet while in the building.
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available.
  • The on-site hair salon will remain open (by appointment only).
  • Recreation activities will continue while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health.
  • Off-site trips provided by the facility where residents are required to leave the transporting vehicle will resume.
  • Residents are encouraged to wear their mask, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Non-essential services will continue on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • External entertainers will resume on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • The following services will continue: blood collection, foot care, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided).

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

December 23, 2020

Beginning today, residents will be able to go off-site to visit with friends and family members over the holidays. Upon returning, residents will be screened and are required to self-isolate in their suite for 14 days. 

In-suite dining will be provided to residents who are self-isolating and they will not be permitted in any common areas of the building until the 14 days have passed. Visitors will also not be permitted for anyone that is self-isolating. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone you were in contact with tests positive for COVID-19, please notify staff immediately.

Please consider Public Health guidelines and recommendations while off-site:

  • Gathering limits are a maximum of ten people (including yourself)
  • It is recommended to limit your group to the same people
  • Non-essential travel outside of the province should be avoided
  • If anyone you are planning to visit has symptoms of COVID-19 or has had contact with someone else that has symptoms of COVID-19, you should refrain from visiting with them
  • Consider hand hygiene, mask wearing, and physical distancing of 6 feet as much as possible during your visit

All other measures that are currently in place at each retirement and assisted living location will remain in place. We will continue to monitor the presence of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and communicate with residents and family members as the situation changes.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the management team at your facility with any questions you may have.

December 15, 2020

With the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province decreasing, we are resuming in-suite visits at Melville Heights and Yarmouth Heights beginning on Thursday December 17.

Residents may have up to two visitors visit at a time. Please contact the facility to see what additional precautions they may have in place.

All visitors will be screened and must wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of six feet while in all common areas of the building. Visitors will go directly to the resident’s apartment. They must wear a mask or maintain a physical distance of six feet from the resident while in their apartment.

In one week, we will re-evaluate the situation and communicate our next steps to family members.

As of Thursday December 17, the following measures will be in place:

  • In-suite visits will resume. Residents may have up to two visitors visit at a time.
  • All non-essential travel into the community, whether with family or independently, is temporarily suspended.
  • Essential medical and dental appointments will continue. Residents returning to the facility will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room.
  • In-person tours will resume. Tours will be limited to two people at a time, who will be screened and must wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of six feet while in the building.
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available
  • The on-site hair salon will remain open (by appointment only)
  • Recreation activities will continue while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health
  • All off-site trips provided by the facility where residents are required to leave the transporting vehicle are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents are encouraged to wear their mask, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene
  • Non-essential services will continue on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • All external entertainers are temporarily suspended.
  • The following services will continue: blood collection, foot care, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided).

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

December 8, 2020

We have continued to see community spread and a high number of active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

With our case numbers remaining high, we are extending the increased measures that we have in place at Melville Heights and Yarmouth Heights. In one week, we will re-evaluate the situation and communicate our next steps to residents and family members.

The following measures will continue to be in place:

  • All visits on the facility’s grounds are temporarily suspended.
  • Essential medical and dental appointments will continue. Residents returning to the facility will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room.
  • All non-essential travel into the community, whether with family or independently, is temporarily suspended.
  • In-person tours are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available
  • The on-site hair salon will remain open (by appointment only)
  • Recreation activities will continue while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health
  • All off-site trips provided by the facility where residents are required to leave the transporting vehicle are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents are encouraged to wear their mask, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene
  • Non-essential services will continue on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • All external entertainers are temporarily suspended.
  • The following services will continue: blood collection, foot care, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided).

The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

November 24, 2020

Last week, our Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, confirmed that we are now seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. 

With the increasing cases of COVID-19 in our province, we have made the decision to increase the measures we have in place at our retirement living locations.

These changes are effective immediately at Melville Heights and Yarmouth Heights. In two weeks, we will re-evaluate the situation and communicate our next steps to residents and family members.

As of today,

  • All visits on the facility’s grounds are temporarily suspended.
  • Essential medical and dental appointments will continue. Residents returning to the facility will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room.
  • All non-essential travel into the community, whether with family or independently, is temporarily suspended.
  • In-person tours are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available
  • The on-site hair salon will remain open (by appointment only)
  • Recreation activities will continue while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health
  • All off-site trips provided by the facility where residents are required to leave the transporting vehicle are temporarily suspended.
  • Residents are encouraged to wear their mask, maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene
  • Non-essential services will continue on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place.
  • All external entertainers are temporarily suspended.
  • The following services will continue: blood collection, foot care, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided).

We have not made this decision lightly. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff are our top priority. Thank you for your continued support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

June 29, 2020

We are excited to continue to lift restrictions as businesses and communities re-open. Our retirement living communities in Halifax and Yarmouth have now moved to Phase 3 of our plan. Please note that we will continue to follow all guidelines from Public Health and the plan is therefore subject to change.

In-suite visits started on June 27. For more details on what these visits will look like at your facility, please contact your retirement living location.

There is a maximum of two visitors per resident and visits must be held in the resident’s suite. All visitors must arrive with a mask and a pre-visit health screening is required upon arrival. We are asking residents who have had visitors in their suite to also wear a mask when in common areas of the building.

Please see an outline of the current plan for lifting restrictions at Melville Heights and Yarmouth Heights below.

  • In-suite family visits started on June 27 (virtual, window, and outdoor visits will still be available)
  • All visitors will be screened upon entry; anyone who is self-isolating or has symptoms related to COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter
  • Residents may come and go as they like, but will be required to wear a mask upon returning except while dining in the dining room
  • New admissions are now accepted
  • In-person tours are now available with screening and precautionary measures in place
  • Residents may dine together while maintaining a physical distance of two metres or six feet; in-suite dining is still available
  • The on-site hair salon is now open (by appointment only)
  • Recreation activities have resumed while following physical distancing guidelines and directives from Public Health
  • Residents are encouraged to maintain a physical distance of two metres or six feet and continue to practice good hand hygiene
  • Non-essential services will resume on a case-by-case assessment while following all screening measures in place
  • The following services have resumed: blood collection, foot care, massage therapist, yoga, and external care providers (in-house care services will still be provided)

In addition to the measures we have in place as we begin to transition to our “new normal,” we continue to have the following in place:

  • Additional screening measures and temperature checks for staff to ensure that they are well
  • High standards of disinfecting all areas in our homes
  • Staff at all of our retirement living homes wearing surgical masks